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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 9, 2015
(3/9/2015)
* Wolf Proposes Level Funding For DEP, DCNR, $325M Alternative Energy Bond

Gov. Tom Wolf proposed his first budget Tuesday suggesting part of a new natural gas severance tax be used to fund a $325 million alternative energy bond initiative.  An additional $10 million from the severance tax would go to the Department of Environmental Protection for Oil and Gas Program enforcement and a new abandoned oil and gas well plugging initiative.

* PA Growing Greener Coalition Expresses Optimism Over Wolf’s Proposed Budget

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Tuesday issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal:

* PEC Blog: Impressions From Gov. Tom Wolf’s First Budget Address

Gov. Tom Wolf has presented his first budget address. By all accounts, it has given just about everyone something to talk about: from taxes, corporate, personal, property, and shale to programs economic, education, community, and energy and environment. Not to mention pensions and bond issues.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Responds To Gov. Wolf’s Budget Proposal

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Wednesday issued the following statement from Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal for 2015-16.

* Marcellus Shale Coalition: Drilling Industry Already Pays Substantial Taxes

Marcellus Shale Coalition president Dave Spigelmyer issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's budget address:

* Analysis: PA Environmental Funding: Eat Your Vegetables, Then You’ll Get Dessert

Every parent has said, “Eat your vegetables, then you can have dessert,” trying to convince a reluctant offspring to get the vitamins and minerals they need and only then something they don’t need, but obviously want, sometimes very badly.

* House Appropriations Committee Begins Budget Hearings March 9, Senate March 16

The House Appropriations Committee will hold its hearing on DEP’s budget March 11 at 1:00, DCNR’s budget on March 16 at 1:30, Department of Agriculture on March 10 at 2:30.  Click Here for the complete House schedule. Click Here to watch the hearings live online.

* State Revenue Collections $17.3 Million Over Estimates For February

Pennsylvania collected $1.7 billion in General Fund revenue in February, which was $17.3 million, or 1 percent, more than anticipated, Acting Secretary of Revenue Eileen McNulty reported Monday.

* DEP Holds Media Webinar March 9 On Chapter 78 Drilling Regulation Changes

The Department of Environmental Protection late Friday announced it would hold a webinar for media on March 9 starting at 10:30 on changes it will propose in a final version of the Chapter 78 drilling regulations.

* PA Environment Digest Google+ Circle, Blogs, Twitter Feeds

PA Environment Digest now has a Google+ Circle called Green Works In PA.  Just go to your Google+ page and search for DHess@CrisciAssociates.com, the email for the Digest Editor David Hess,  and let us join your Circle.

* Governor's Schedule

Gov. Tom Wolf's work calendar will be posted each Friday and his public schedule for the day will be posted each morning.   Click Here to view Gov. Wolf’s Weekly Calendar and Public Appearances.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* PA Must Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Experts Tell House Democrats

Pennsylvania, which produces almost 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gases, must use more renewable energy, become more energy efficient and reduce methane emissions to help address climate change, a panel of experts said before the House Democratic Policy Committee Monday.

* Senate Committees Hold Hearing On Act 13 Drilling Impact Fee Investments

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), and the Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) Tuesday held a joint public hearing to discuss the positive benefits of Act 13 Impact Fee dollars on Pennsylvania communities.

* Sen. Rafferty, Sen. Dinniman Introduce Pipeline Impact Fee Legislation

Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) and Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) have introduced Senate Bill 557 which would impose a transmission or gathering pipeline impact fee based on the acreage of an oil or natural gas pipeline right of way to be collected by the Public Utility Commission and distributed to the affected counties (sponsor summary).

* February Environmental Synopsis Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The February edition of Environmental Synopsis is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now available featuring articles on--

* April 20 Environmental Issues Forum Features Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA

The April 20 “Earth Day” Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature a presentation by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council To Hear Testimony On Deep Coal Mining Impact Report

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is setting aside two hours at its March 17 meeting to hear public comments 2008-2013 Underground Coal Mining Impact Report required by the state’s Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Act 54).

* PA League Of Women Voters Honor Franklin L. Kury April 7, Tickets Now Available

The PA League of Women Voters will honor former Senator Franklin L. Kury (D-Northumberland) and author of the Environmental Rights Amendment to Pennsylvania’s Constitution at a reception on April 7 at the Colonial Ridge Country Club, 4901 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg.

* Delaware River Basin Commission Announces One Process/One Permit Program

The Delaware River Basin Commission Monday announced plans for a One Process/One Permit Program to promote collaboration and enhance administrative efficiencies between DRBC and the four basin states-- Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania-- while ensuring that equal or better environmental outcomes are obtained.

* Schuylkill Action Network Anti-Litter Campaign To Span Entire Spring

The Schuylkill Action Network is working to rid the Schuylkill River of litter by hosting the Schuylkill Scrub from March 1 to May 31 across Southeast Pennsylvania. Those who add their spring cleanups to this anti-litter campaign can win gift certificates for kayaking, tubing, and more along the Schuylkill River.

* CBF-PA: Connect Soils To Profits Workshop March 19 In Towanda

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA and its partners will hold a Connect Soils To Profits - No-till, Cover Crops, Soil Health, Grazing and Healthy Streams Workshop March 19 at the Wysox Fire Hall, 111 Lake Road in Towanda, Bradford County.

* Schuylkill Water Stewards Seeking Water Quality Monitoring Volunteers

A consortium of local conservation and watershed organizations announces the second session of the Schuylkill Water Stewards volunteer training program, starting in spring 2015.

* CBF-PA Hosts Tree Planting In Quittapahilla Wetland Preserve, March 28 In Lebanon

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA will host a tree planting on March 28 at the Quittapahilla Educational Wetland Preserve, 170 Birch Road, Lebanon from 9 to Noon.

* Registration Now Open For PA Groundwater Symposium May 6

In celebration of National Drinking Water Week, Penn State Extension and the Department of Environmental Protection along with numerous other sponsors invite you to attend the 2015 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College, PA on May 6.

* Wissahickon Watershed: Learn About Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens March 19, 26

The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association will hold a Rain Barrel Workshop on March 19 in Ambler and a Rain Garden Workshop on March 26 in North Wales, Montgomery County.

* West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition Meeting March 10

You are cordially invited to join us for the next meeting of the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition on March 10 at the Clinton County Conservation District's conference room.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Spring To The Falls Watershed Walk March 15

The Brodhead Watershed Association and the Pocono Heritage Land Trust will host a Spring To The Falls Watershed Walk on March 15 in Monroe County from 1:00 to 4:30.

* DEP: Reporting Deadlines For Water Suppliers Approaching

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday reminded water suppliers that reporting deadlines for the 2014 calendar year are coming up.  Reports from public water suppliers are due by March 31.  Non-public water supplier reports are due by June 30.

* Feb/March Water Policy News From Water Resources Education Network

The February/March edition of Water Policy News from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network featuring articles on--

* March 2 Watershed Winds Newsletter Available From Penn State Extension

The March 2 edition of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring stories on--

* March Chesapeake Bay Currents Newsletter Now Available

The March edition of the Chesapeake Currents newsletter is now available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program featuring articles on--

* Paddle Without Pollution Announces 2015 Watershed Stewardship Schedule

Paddle Without Pollution in Pittsburgh Wednesday announced their watershed stewardship events for 2015.

* PennDOT: Statewide Great American Cleanup Of PA Volunteers Needed

The Department of Transportation is seeking volunteers for this year's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, which begins March 1 and runs through May 31.

* PA Resources Council’s New Website One-Stop-Shop For Going Green

Looking for information on how to properly dispose of “hard-to-recycle” items?  Interested in learning how to compost in your backyard?  Ready to tackle litter in your own neighborhood? 

* March e-PRC Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

The March edition of e-PRC from the PA Resources Council is now available featuring articles on--

* Recycling Partnership Seeking Proposals For Municipal Recycling Programs

The Recycling Partnership, an initiative of the Curbside Value Partnership, is pleased to announce their 2015 funding opportunity for counties, municipalities and solid waste authorities seeking to improve their residential curbside recycling infrastructure.

* DEP Hearing On Tullytown Landfill’s Solid Waste Permit Renewal March 25

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public hearing for March 25 on the application by Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc. to renew its solid waste permit for Tullytown Landfill in Bucks County. 

* DEP Extends Comment Period For Keystone Landfill Expansion Permit To April 6

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will extend the public comment period for the permit expansion application submitted by Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Lackawanna County to expand its facility to April 6.

* DEP To Hold Keystone Energy Education Workshops In April, May, June

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold three Keystone Energy Education Program workshops for teachers in grades 4 to 8, school administrators and building maintenance or facility managers.

* Gloria Barron Prize For Young Heroes Is Now Accepting Nominations

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited, highly diverse young people from all across America.

* PA Environmental Council: In Case You Missed It February Update On PEC Activities

The February issue of In Case You Missed It from the PA Environmental Council is now available providing a comprehensive update on PEC activities for the month.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.

* Agriculture Suspends 2 Percent Biodiesel Content Mandate Thru March 4

Acting Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding notified Gov. Tom Wolf on March 2 that he was partially suspending the state mandate for 2 percent biodiesel, as authorized under the state’s Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act, because a shortage exists.

* Gov. Wolf Reverses Tax Increase On Clean Energy Alternative To Diesel

After thorough consideration of the environmental and economic development benefits derived from use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a vehicle fuel alternative to diesel, Acting Secretary of Revenue Eileen McNulty announced Thursday Gov. Wolf has reversed a decision made in late 2014 that increased state tax on LNG.

* March 5 DEP News Now Available

The March 5 edition of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* Sunoco Withdraws Exemption From Local Zoning For Mariner East Pipeline

On March 5, Sunoco Pipeline L.P. withdrew its request for an exemption from the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code for the construction of a series of industrial valve control and pumping stations necessary to advance its Mariner East project.

* TreeVitalize Pittsburgh Accepting Grant Applications Until March 20

Would you like a tree planting in your neighborhood this year? Fall 2015 TreeVitalize Pittsburgh applications are now available for interested communities.

* March Water, Land, Life Newsletter From Western PA Conservancy Now Available

The March issue of the Water, Land, Life newsletter is now available from the Western PA Conservancy is now available featuring stories on--

* Friends Of The Wissahickon Host Program On The Future of Fairmount Park March 11

The Friends of the Wissahickon in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties is hosting a Valley Talk on March 11 at Valley Green Inn on the future of Fairmount Park.

* DEP Begins Online Live Video Stream of Harrisburg Falcons, Falcon Ed Workshop

In what’s become a sure sign that Spring’s not far away, the Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has begun the live video stream of the pair of peregrine falcons that nest on a ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.

* Latest PA Natural Heritage Program Newsletter Now Available

The latest Wild Heritage News newsletter from the PA Natural Heritage Program is now available featuring articles on--

* Save The Date: Scranton To Host National Trout Unlimited Meeting Sept. 16-20

For the first time in 25 years, Pennsylvania, specifically Scranton, will host the National Meeting of Trout Unlimited from September 16 to 20 at the Center City Hilton Hotel and Convention Center, Scranton.

* PA Outdoor Writers Spring Conference May 14-17 In Seven Springs

The PA Outdoor Writers Association will hold its Spring Conference May 14-17 at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Somerset County.

* Patrick McDonnell Named DEP Director Of Policy

Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley Monday announced the appointment of Patrick McDonnell as DEP Director of Policy.

* Opportunity To Bid On Mine Reclamation Projects Cambria, Luzerne Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Cambria County and Luzerne County.

* Interns Wanted: Trout Unlimited Interns For Abandoned Mine, Brook Trout Initiatives

Trout Unlimited is seeking qualified individuals to serve as full-time biological field interns from mid-May to August 2015 for the Eastern Abandoned Mine Program and PA Eastern Brook Trout Habitat Initiative based in Lock Haven, Clinton County.  Deadline for applying March 20.  Click Here for all the details.

* Help Wanted: Trout Unlimited, Agriculture, Berks Conservation District

Trout Unlimited, the Department of Agriculture and the Berks County Conservation District are seeking qualified candidates for these positions--

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

This section lists House and Senate Committee meetings, DEP and other public hearings and meetings and other interesting environmental events.

* Grants & Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs.  NEW means new from last week.

* General Environmental/Budget NewsClips

Here's a selection of NewsClips on environmental topics from around the state--

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling---

* Watershed/Flooding NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state--

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

No new regulations were published this week.  Pennsylvania Bulletin - March 7, 2015

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.

* Stories Invited

Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to:  DHess@CrisciAssociates.com.

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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